Madras HC denies patta to Bethel Nagar ‘encroachers’

“Unchecked encroachment of government land has vastly reduced the area which was reserved in the interest of public and ecological balance.

Published: 16th April 2022 05:28 AM  |   Last Updated: 16th April 2022 05:28 AM   |  A+A-

By Express News Service

CHENNAI: Affirming that courts would not help those indulging in land encroachment, the Madras High Court has observed that such activities have reduced the area of land reserved for maintaining ecological balance.

The first bench of Chief Justice Munishwar Nath Bhandari and Justice D Bharatha Chakravarthy made the observations recently while dismissing a batch of petitions filed by residents of Bethel Nagar, Injambakkam, on the outskirts of Chennai, seeking to order issuance of patta and revoking the eviction notice.

“Unchecked encroachment of government land has vastly reduced the area which was reserved in the interest of public and ecological balance. It is the bounden duty of officials of the Revenue Department to preserve and protect government lands which have been reserved for specific purposes,” the bench said.

It did not spare those officials colluding with usurpers. “Indisputably, such encroachments could not have taken place without the knowledge of the respondent authorities. It is a case where till the initiation of the contempt proceedings, the respondent authorities acted in cahoots with the encroachers, rather than taking earnest efforts to protect the government land. It is trite that when a person is a rank encroacher without any valid right or title over the land belonging to the government, the court should not permit or protect the continued illegal occupation of the land.”

The judges made it clear that the court will never lend its aid to a person who indulges in an illegal act like encroachment of land. Saying that the prayer made by the petitioners for patta cannot be countenanced, the judges dismissed the petitions.

The Bethel Nagar land encroachment issue has been prolonging for a long time now. The High Court had issued directions regarding eviction in 2015 and 2017 but the orders were not complied with leading to a contempt petition, on which, the first bench recently ordered eviction. Subsequently, the commercial buildings were sealed by government authorities concerned while seeking time till the end of public examinations for acting against residential buildings.

Meanwhile, the residents filed the petitions seeking patta and revoking of the eviction notice. The proceedings on the contempt petition are still going on.

Fake habeas corpus plea: `1L cost imposed on woman
Madurai: The Madurai Bench of Madras High Court recently imposed `1 lakh cost on a woman for trying to misuse the court by filing a habeas corpus petition making false allegations to delay proceedings in a civil suit filed by her in 2017. According to the order, R Vijayalakshmi of Tiruchy had falsely alleged that her 72-year-old mother-in-law, who is of unsound mind, was illegally detained by Sheik Dawood, against whom Vijalakshmi has a civil suit pending in lower court over a property issue. Though her mother-in-law had sold the property to Dawood in 2017 and Vijayalakshmi had signed as a witness, Vijayalakshmi had filed the civil suit within two months, seeking a share in the property. Recently, she moved the High Court with the habeas corpus petition. 



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